Monday, September 26, 2022

What Can You Do For Walking Pneumonia

S To Prevent Walking Pneumonia

When Pneumonia Walks – Dr. Julie Philley

Since walking pneumonia is often spread by coughing and sneezing, you can help prevent the transmission of germs by covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, whether with a tissue or your upper sleeve.

In order to stay healthy, you should also:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Dont smoke .
  • Take steps to help boost your immune system by getting adequate sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
  • Avoid exposure to others who are sick.

In particular, people who have underlying lung disease should be careful and have a heightened awareness of what steps to take to prevent walking pneumonia. Don’t downplay a cough. If you need expert care, we are here for you at your neighborhood ER.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • I have a chronic condition. Am I at higher risk for pneumonia?
  • Do I have bacterial, viral, or fungal pneumonia? Whats the best treatment?
  • Am I contagious?
  • How serious is my pneumonia? Will I need to be hospitalized?
  • What can I do at home to help relieve my symptoms?
  • What are the possible complications of pneumonia? How will I know if Im developing complications?
  • What should I do if my symptoms dont respond to treatment or get worse?
  • Do we need to schedule a follow-up exam?
  • Do I need any vaccines?

What Are The Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia

Symptoms generally appear 15 to 25 days after exposure to the mycoplasma and develop slowly over a period of two to four days. Symptoms include:

  • cough that may come in violent spasms but produce very little mucus
  • lingering weakness that may persist after other symptoms go away

Some people with walking pneumonia may also have an ear infection, anemia, or a skin rash.

Read Also: Symptoms Of Walking Pneumonia In The Elderly

When Should You Call For Help

anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You have severe trouble breathing.

or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You cough up dark brown or bloody mucus .
  • You have new or worse trouble breathing.
  • You are dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You have a new or higher fever.
  • Your cough or wheezing has not gone away after 2 to 4 weeks.
  • You are not getting better as expected.

Walking Pneumonia Vs Bronchitis Symptoms

Could You Have Walking Pneumonia? Here

Both bronchitis and walking pneumonia have similar symptoms, but the two diseases are not the same. Bronchitis affects the bronchial tubes, not the small airways of the lungs.

Bronchitis symptoms may include:

  • runny, stuffy nose
  • shortness of breath

The main difference is that the recovery time tends to be shorter with acute bronchitis than with pneumonia. But recovering from chronic bronchitis may take a long time.

Also Check: When Should I Get The Pneumonia Vaccine

Can Pneumonia Be Prevented Or Avoided

There are many factors that can raise your risk for developing pneumonia. These include:

People who have any of the following conditions are also at increased risk:

  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • asthma
  • sickle cell disease

You can help prevent pneumonia by doing the following:

  • Get the flu vaccine each year. People can develop bacterial pneumonia after a case of the flu. You can reduce this risk by getting the yearly flu shot.
  • Get the pneumococcal vaccine. This helps prevent pneumonia caused by pneumococcal bacteria.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Dont smoke. Smoking damages your lungs and makes it harder for your body to defend itself from germs and disease. If you smoke, talk to your family doctor about quitting as soon as possible.
  • Practice a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables. Exercise regularly. Get plenty of sleep. These things help your immune system stay strong.
  • Avoid sick people. Being around people who are sick increases your risk of catching what they have.

Walking Pneumonia: 101 For Parents

Have you heard the term walking pneumonia and wondered, What in the world?

Walking pneumonia is a common illness in children. You may also hear your doctor refer to it as atypical pneumonia. It is an infection of the lungs, but tends to be a less serious form than typical pneumonia.

Kids who have walking pneumonia often look pretty good. Instead of being sacked out on the couch, theyre up and walking aroundthats where the illness gets its name. However, it is caused by a bacteria and needs proper treatment in order to clear it up.

Frequently Asked Questions About Walking Pneumonia

Here are the questions I most often answer about walking pneumonia:

  • What are the symptoms? Symptoms include low-grade fevers, fatigue, headache, sore throat, rash, coughing and wheezing. Symptoms can vary from child to child, and they are similar to the symptoms of a virus. The main thing that persists is the cough. Typically in about 10 days most viruses have resolved. But for kids with walking pneumonia, the cough persists. Thats often what brings families to the doctors office for a visit.
  • How is it diagnosed? The majority of the time, we can diagnose walking pneumonia during a clinical exam. When we listen to the lungs, we can hear a distinctly different sound in a child with walking pneumonia versus a child with a virus. Sometimes a chest X-ray may be ordered to diagnose walking pneumonia, but a physical exam is usually all that is needed.
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    For Shortness Of Breath

    With pneumonia, your breathing may suddenly become rapid and shallow, or this symptom could develop gradually over the course of a few days.

    You may even experience breathlessness while youre resting. Your doctor may prescribe medication or inhalers to help. Even as you try the suggestions below, make sure you keep up with your physicians instructions and dosages.

    If the following suggestions dont help and your breath becomes even shorter, seek immediate medical care.

    How Are Walking Pneumonia And Regular Pneumonia Treated

    What is walking pneumonia & how is it different from regular pneumonia? | Apollo Hospitals

    For walking pneumonia, some doctors may evaluate your symptoms, assume thats what you have and prescribe an antibiotic. But Dr. Chaisson doesnt recommend that approach. The vast majority of patients with these symptoms have something viral, such as an upper respiratory infection, sinus infection or bronchitis, he explains. Such illnesses are treated with time, rest and symptom-relieving medication.

    Dr. Chaisson cautions that antibiotic overuse can lead to antibiotic resistance and an outbreak of Clostridium difficile. C. difficile, an intestinal infection that causes diarrhea and abdominal pain, is difficult to treat and can lead to death particularly in elderly patients.

    That said, if your symptoms linger for longer than a few days or if you have a chronic health issue , its best to visit your doctor to see if you might have walking pneumonia.

    Although walking pneumonia may go away on its own, antibiotics may be necessary. Walking pneumonia can be confirmed by a chest X-ray, which will show an area of infection in the lung.

    Regular pneumonia, on the other hand, is often more severe, Dr. Chaisson says. Regular pneumonia usually warrants antibiotics and sometimes patients are hospitalized because they require oxygen, IV fluids, and breathing treatments, he says.

    Read Also: Home Remedies To Treat Pneumonia

    It Can Be Treated With Antibiotics

    In most cases, once diagnosed accurately, walking pneumonia is easy to treat with antibiotics. But getting the right diagnosis is important because antibiotics used to fight viral flu or even regular pneumonia may fail when it comes to walking pneumonia.9You may also try out herbal remedies, Ayurveda, yoga, and easy home remedies.

    People whove had a bout of walking pneumonia usually develop some immunity to the disease. However, if several cases of walking pneumonia have been reported in your area and you seem to have a few symptoms, it is best to see a doctor even if youve undergone treatment previously.

    References

    Limit Contact With Others

    One of the best things you can do when recovering from pneumonia is to limit your contact with others. As weve learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemicwhich can cause viral pneumoniastaying at least six feet away from others reduces the amount of viral or bacterial content they are exposed to as you breathe or talk.

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    What Is The Difference Between Walking Pneumonia And Regular Pneumonia

    THE MAIN DIFFERENCE:Walking pneumonia’s symptoms are much milder than pneumonia’s. While pneumonia causes a high fever and cough that produces mucus, walking pneumonia involves a very low fever and a dry cough.

    Considering this, what are the symptoms of walking pneumonia?

    • Chest pain when you take a deep breath in.
    • Cough that may come in violent spasms.
    • Mild flu-like symptoms such as fever and chills.
    • Sore throat.
    • Tiredness.
    • Lingering weakness that may last after other symptoms go away.

    Similarly, is walking pneumonia contagious? It spreads through sneezes or coughs. But it spreads slowly. If you get it, you could be contagious for up to 10 days. Researchers think it takes a lot of close contact with an infected person for you to develop walking pneumonia.

    Secondly, can walking pneumonia turn into pneumonia?

    But those that last longer can sometimes turn into walking pneumonia. Walking pneumonia, or atypical pneumonia, is a less serious form of the lung infection pneumonia. It’s caused by Mycoplasma bacteria , and causes cold-like symptoms, a low-grade fever, and a hacking cough.

    How do you get rid of walking pneumonia?

  • Reduce fever by taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  • Avoid cough suppressant medicine as it may make it harder to make your cough productive.
  • Drink lots of water and other fluids.
  • Get as much rest as possible.
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    Cover Your Mouth And Nose

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    While the preferred method for covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze is into a tissue, not everyone can get to tissues in time when the urge to cough or sneeze hits. If you have the urge to cough or sneezeand a tissue isnt availablethe next best thing is to cover your mouth or nose with the inside of your elbow.

    Coughing or sneezing into your elbow will decrease the chances of your leaving traces of your infection on door handles, faucets, or anything else you touch.

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    So Hows That Different Than Regular Pneumonia

    Pneumonia is generally a more serious lung infection. It can also be caused by bacteria or viruses .

    No matter the cause, the infection causes your immune system to fill the air sacs in the lungs with mucus, pus, and other fluids. This makes it difficult for oxygen to reach your blood.

    Though the symptoms of bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonia arent exactly the same, Dr. Chaisson says both tend to cause shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and feeling more tired than usual.

    Causes Of Walking Pneumonia

    Walking pneumonia can be caused by viruses or bacteria. According to the American Lung Association, most cases are caused by M. pneumoniae, a common type of bacteria that usually affects children and adults under the age of 40. M. pneumoniae infections tend to peak in summer and early fall but can happen throughout the year.

    Chlamydophila pneumoniae can also cause walking pneumonia. Infections from this type of bacteria are common in all four seasons. It often spreads in crowded environments, like college dorms and long-term care facilities.

    Adults and children can also contract walking pneumonia from viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus is a frequent cause of walking pneumonia in young kids, while adults tend to get the viral form of the disease from the influenza virus.

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    When To Get A Persistent Cough Checked

    If youre struggling with a lingering cough but not sick enough to stay in bed, it may be unclear exactly when to seek help. So, how do you know when to call the doctor?

    If symptoms are out of the ordinary for you, if youre getting worse instead of better in that three to five day period, or if they persist, consider that it might be walking pneumonia as opposed to a typical cold, and check in with your doctor.

    In order to diagnose walking pneumonia, your doctor will perform a physical exam. A chest x-ray and some additional tests may also be needed.

    While its possible for people with walking pneumonia to recover without treatment, many patients with a confirmed Mycoplasma pneumonia infection benefit from antibiotics.

    Antibiotics are very effective against walking pneumonia typically a five to seven day course is prescribed. It may take about 10 to 14 days before you actually start feeling back to baseline, but once the walking pneumonia is treated, symptoms should resolve completely.

    Keep in mind however, walking pneumonia isnt always mild. Some cases are severe and require hospitalization.

    Is Walking Pneumonia Contagious If So How Is It Spread And Who Is Most At Risk

    What can I do to prevent getting pneumonia?

    Yes, walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae is contagious . When an infected person coughs or sneezes, tiny droplets containing the bacteria become airborne and can be inhaled by others who are nearby.

    The infection can be easily spread in crowded or shared living spaces such as homes, schools, dormitories and nursing homes. It tends to affect younger adults and school-aged children more than older adults.

    The risk of getting more severe pneumonia is even higher among those who have existing respiratory conditions such as:

    The symptoms of walking pneumonia may come on slowly, beginning one to four weeks after exposure. During the later stages of the illness, symptoms may worsen, the fever may become higher, and coughing may bring up discolored phlegm .

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    How Is Walking Pneumonia Treated

    Walking pneumonia is usually mild, does not require hospitalization and is treated with antibiotics . Several types of antibiotics are effective. Antibiotics that are used to treat walking pneumonia caused by Mycoplasma pneumoniae include:

    • Macrolide antibiotics: Macrolide drugs are the preferred treatment for children and adults. Macrolides include azithromycin and clarithromycin . Over the past decade, some strains of Mycoplasma pneumoniae have become resistant to macrolide antibiotics, possibly due to the widespread use of azithromycin to treat various illnesses.
    • Fluoroquinolones: These drugs include ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin . Fluoroquinolones are not recommended for young children.
    • Tetracyclines: This group includes doxycycline and tetracycline. They are suitable for adults and older children.

    Often, over-the-counter medications can also be taken to help relieve symptoms of nasal congestion, cough and loosen mucus buildup in the chest. If you have a fever:

    • Drink more fluids

    Who Gets Walking Pneumonia And How Is It Spread

    Anyone at any age can get walking pneumonia. Walking pneumonia from mycoplasma is most common, though, in older children and adults younger than 40.

    People who live and work in crowded places, such as schools, homeless shelters, and prisons have a higher risk of contracting the disease. That’s because walking pneumonia is contagious. It’s spread when someone comes in contact with droplets from the nose and throat of someone who has it. That commonly happens when the person with walking pneumonia sneezes or coughs.

    Cases of walking pneumonia are most common in the late summer and fall. But infections can occur with no particular pattern throughout the year. And, even though the disease is contagious, it spreads slowly. The contagious period in most cases lasts less than 10 days. Researchers also think it takes prolonged close contact with an infected person for someone else to develop walking pneumonia still, there are widespread outbreaks every four to eight years. When those outbreaks occur, walking pneumonia can account for as many as one out of every two cases of pneumonia.

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    How To Treat Pneumonia In Seniors

    Pneumonia can often be treated at home. The goal is to rid your body of the infection while preventing more serious complications. Pneumonia affects the lungs and breathing. This makes it vital to ensure that the body is getting the oxygen it needs to recover. Following these steps can help to manage the symptoms of fever and cough so that your loved one can recover more quickly:

  • Rest. Your body is able to fight off germs when you get adequate sleep. Encourage your loved one to stay in bed if they are weak or have a fever. While they are recovering, work in regular rest periods. A nap in the afternoon and an early bedtime or sleeping later in the morning is important. Arrange for your loved one to have help with meals and household chores. When you take care of the daily details, your loved one is more able to fully rest.
  • Hydration. Keeping your body well hydrated can prevent the build-up of mucus in the lungs. Provide your loved one with plenty of fluids such as hot tea or water with lemon. These can help to loosen the secretions in their lungs and make it easier to breathe. A warm bath or humidifier can also help open the airways.
  • They have other health conditions
  • Are having trouble breathing
  • The symptoms get worse
  • Recovery from pneumonia can take anywhere from a week to months. You will need to talk to your doctor about when it is appropriate to return to a normal routine.

    An early response to the signs of pneumonia can be your best strategy for a smooth recovery.

    What Causes Pneumonia

    Pneumonia

    Most cases of pneumonia are caused by:

    • They are the most common cause of pneumonia in adults. They can cause pneumonia on their own, or after youve had a cold or the flu. Bacterial pneumonia usually only affects one area of a lung.
    • Any virus that affects the respiratory tract can cause pneumonia. This includes the flu virus and the virus that causes the common cold. In children under 1 year old, the respiratory syncytial virus is the most common cause. Viral pneumonia tends to be mild. It often gets better on its own in 1 to 3 weeks.
    • Some fungal infections can lead to pneumonia, especially in people with weakened immune systems. There are also some fungi that occur in the soil in certain parts of the United States that can lead to pneumonia.

    You can also get pneumonia through aspiration. This is when you inhale particles into your lungs. These could be food, saliva, liquids, or vomit. It occurs most often after vomiting, and you are not strong enough to cough the particles out. The particles cause irritation, swelling and can get infected. This causes pneumonia.

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